Tech could solve many an economic issue for Nigeria

29 November 2019 2 min. read

Ringing in the 2019 KPMG Digital Summit in Lagos, KPMG Nigeria’s Partner for Digital Transformation Boye Ademola has reiterated the importance of investing in technology to enhance financial inclusion numbers in Nigeria. The comments came ahead of the summit that was due to start on the 26th of November.

Ademola’s comments are consistent with KPMG’s long-standing commentary on financial inclusion in Nigeria. In 2017, the Big Four accounting and advisory firm published a report that indicated that up to 94 million people – or more than half the population – in Nigeria are financially underserved.

While internet access has been spreading in the country, and Ademola has recognised the advances that Nigeria has made in the tech domain, people remain reluctant to leverage technology for financial activity. This is among a number of issues that are being discussed at the KPMG Digital Summit, themed ‘Leveraging Insights and Experience to Scale.’

Digitalisation is among the most prominent discussions currently underway in the Nigerian market, and KPMG has become an integral part of this trend, even in a practical capacity. Outside of the realm of financial inclusion, a number of businesses in the country are currently investing in digitalisation to improve their capacity to compete at an international level.

In July this year, KPMG established an Insight Centre in Lagos to enable companies in Nigeria to experiment with digitalisation. The principle behind the Insight Centre is to leverage Industry 4.0 advancements to solve challenges that are central to the Nigerian business environment.

According to Ademola, financial inclusion and income inequality is one of the issues that technology can solve. “If you look at the cost to serve, that is another thing that technology can help with because of the different segments of our population,” he said.

“It is not everyone that can afford to pay a premium, therefore we need to look at how to serve more people especially those at the lower end of the ladder and do it in a way that they would not stop using digital services because costs are too high. There is a lot of technology going into financial inclusion and there is a lot of capital chasing that,” he added.

Ademola’s comments rung in the Digital Summit, which is currently underway to facilitate discussions on the potential of tech. According to Segun Sowandem, Partner for Management Consulting at KPMG Nigeria, “The summit will bring together thought leaders in the digital space, and other international subject matter experts.”